There's a Box in the Garage You Can Beat With a Stick

Overview

Michael Teig's poems are moving, intelligent, full of delight, and—most refreshingly—a pleasure to read. Stephen Dobyns says of Teig's poems, "they have this ability to make the world fresh again and ...

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There's a Box in the Garage You Can Beat With a Stick

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Overview

Michael Teig's poems are moving, intelligent, full of delight, and—most refreshingly—a pleasure to read. Stephen Dobyns says of Teig's poems, "they have this ability to make the world fresh again and make us realize why we love the world, despite its failings and our own."

When they gave him a shovel
he repaired the ground.

When they addressed him in memos
he said I am lonely too.

He gave them a shrug
and held

a gray cat to his chest
like an alibi.

Michael Teig is founding co-editor of jubilat. He won the inaugural A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
09/23/2013
“I have the reassembled heart./ It hearts you.” The mix of oddball phraseology and quiet pathos in this second collection from Teig (Big Back Yard) should charm many readers and confuse some others; in his image-rich free verse, the boundaries between cause and effect, the lines separating people, animals, vegetables, and manufactured products nearly disappear, creating a space part pastoral, part postmodern, and close to the poet’s peers and models in western Massachusetts and Eastern Europe, from Tomasz Salamun to Dara Wier. In one anxious poem, “it’s April everywhere/ so incredible/ and smashing everyone/ who looks at it.” In another, “I saw my nose was the prow/ of a boat, the night filling with fingerprints./ Onward, I whispered.” Teig (who cofounded the magazine jubilat) can pass from exhilaration to exhaustion, using his changeable, metaphor-laden technique to imagine a person who carries the weight of adulthood: “I made a clearing where the shouting world piles up/ dimly on the horizontal, as it always has.” Such sentences move from one point to another in a way very close to the way we talk now, so that only their kaleidoscopic images set them above the ordinary hum and oddity of daily life. His quieter moments, and his humor, might give this collection all the notes it needs, as when he contributes a punning “Poultry Chronicle”: “the stars drop down,// the coast drifts away and my chicken/ drifts like a boat in a bowl.” (Nov.)
From the Publisher

“…in his image-rich free verse, the boundaries between cause and effect, the lines separating people, animals, vegetables, and manufactured products nearly disappear, creating a space part pastoral, part postmodern, and close to the poet’s peers and models… from Tomasz Salamun to Dara Wier.” —Publishers Weekly

"Brimming with wit ... Teig’s second book of poems has one of the boldest titles in poetry-book history, and he follows his standout title with highly imaginative poems boasting imagery with passionate reach. Nearly every poem in this collection can be viewed as a picturesque mural that doesn’t quite make sense,yet, curiously, leads to wonder and excitement ... It is quite possible that Teig has inherited the mantle of William Carlos Williams’ 'Red Wheelbarrow.' But there is nothing here that is definitive, and that is the point." —Booklist

“…the poems in There’s a Box in the Garage You Can Beat with a Stick are weird but likeable, and they make your brain feel all tingly when you read them … There’s A Box in the Garage You Can Beat with a Stick pairs charming, irreverent images with a sincere tone, making poems that at once are both accessible and elusive.” -Newpages

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781938160202
  • Publisher: BOA Editions, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 11/5/2013
  • Series: American Poets Continuum Series
  • Pages: 136
  • Sales rank: 1,375,260
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.10 (d)

Meet the Author


Michael Teig is the author of Big Back Yard (BOA Editions, 2003), winner of the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize. His work has appeared in many journals, including FIELD, Conduit, Black Warrior Review, Bateau, Crazyhorse, Pleiades, and A Public Space. He is a co-founder and editor-at-large of jubilat. Born in Franklin, PA, Teig holds degrees from Oberlin College and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. His honors include awards and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Academy of American Poets, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. He lives in Easthampton, MA, with his wife and son.
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